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The European Union has launched development of a system to rush satellite imagery and sensor data to relief organizations responding to a disaster. The 3.2 million euro GEO-Pictures project is funded in part from the EU's Seventh Framework space research program and will be part of Europe's larger Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) system. The United Nations and the Amazonas state government in Brazil are also involved.Under GEO-Pictures, photographs, video, radar and other sensor data such as weather reports will be location-tagged and transferred via satellite to a UN-hosted control center at CERN in Geneva, where experts in online mapping will create real-time situation maps which will then be multi-cast via satellite to field teams equipped with lightweight terminals. These will allow them to view and comment on the imagery and request additional information. Researchers also hope to investigate how small UAVs can be used to observe disaster zones. An early version of the system contributed to disaster-management efforts following the Haiti earthquake, the EU says.
os99, EU, GMES
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